online: 3 june 2003

31 may 2003 belief and reality

19:57 Meta Dachinger seat. Too hot a day for me (about 29C) I'm still sweating though it's close to sunset. I've been indoors all day learning the next bit of HTML - I did not feel able to write... and I've been reading and comparing translations of Dante.

I take off my glasses to wipe my face and then replace them to see this. How I like writing of the moment of writing!

The grass has grown say 20 cm since I was last on this seat (about a week ago) - the seeds have now become visible.

Up above I can see three vapour trails intersecting - on this day of the last flight of the French Concorde. The last British one will fly in October. Was it a mistake? I think yes. The Americans tested the negative side effects (which showed that it could not be flown supersonically overland) and wisely decided not to go on with it...

...At last I feel cooler and decide to walk further.

20:55 Parliament Hill. There's still smog over the City. Many young people are picnicking - in groups of five to ten. Others are sitting on seats to look at the view.

Yes, I've been reading and comparing translations of Dante's Divine Comedy... which today has begun to fascinate me... the parts that inspire me are supernatural - for instance the approach of an angel on effortless wings and in a weightless boat. That, and the presentation of such non-realisms as being credible - the real beliefs* of Dante's time.

...And now at last the air is cool and not humid... It again invites me to walk a little further.

*I was remembering these words:
...Hell, and what lies beyond, is real, and Dante predicates a real journey through the Afterlife, with historical coordinates.
David H Higgins (in his introduction to the translation by C H Sisson, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York 1980) paraphrasing C S Singleton (in Dante's Commedia, Elements of Structure, Baltimore 1977)

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